The Tampa Bay Lightning announced the verdict on Matt Carle’s injury and the news isn’t good. He has torn adductor muscles and will need surgery on Tuesday. As a result, Carle is expected to miss the next six-to-eight weeks.
The silver lining is that Carle should still be available for the Lightning’s final push for positioning before the start of the playoffs. At the same time, the Lightning’s defense is beginning to look a little thin when combined with the fact that Radko Gudas (knee) is likely done for the season.
That positions Tampa Bay as one of the most likely teams to aggressively pursue defensive help before the trade deadline. Head coach Jon Cooper indicated that he would favor adding a physical, gritty defenseman so, as we previously suggested, the Lightning might be more likely to end up with someone like Carolina’s Tim Gleason as opposed to Arizona’s Keith Yandle.
Gudas is by far the Lightning’s leading defenseman in hits with 115 while Carle leads Tampa Bay with 74 blocked shots. Carle also has 14 points and averages 20:34 minutes per contest in 46 games this season.